Nailsworth, England

Cowpat, potato pie, 
and solar panels:  
when a soccer club 
becomes green 

In England, Forest Green knocks down the codes to grow trees

The greener club in the world? Dale Vince is a green business owner. He has bought Forest Green Rovers in 2010, the team is based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, from “League Two”. A soccer fan, mainly ecologist and, millionnaire thanks to Ecotricity, a green energy company (Solar, biogas, and wind power energy). “Mister Chairman” has totally transformed the club. He started with his stadium, the New Lawn. A stadium of 5 000 places (2 000 seats). Since 2011, Dale Vince has installed 180 solar panels on the roof of the stadium in order to produce 10 % of the electricity needed for the stadium. The president challenges himself: the stadium field must become the first one to be certified green. He then bans chemical products and replaces them with cowpat. According to the former club manager, Dave Hockaday: « Cowpat smell is a bit strong but the field is beautiful ! ». We confirm: The Institute of Groundsmanship, in 2012, has given an award to the club for its field, a sustainable and green award.



Dale Vince proclaims its beliefs at all levels: « I am vegan. Food in the soccer world is dreadful ! ». In 2011, the audience and players say goodbye to meat, fishes, eggs, and eat potato pie, peas, and leeks. In May 2017, Rovers get the “green” label for the club, the vegan label. A first for a soccer club. But Dale Vince is more ambitious and aims for more sustainability. By 2025, he is willing to build a new stadium, the Forest Green Eco Park Stadium. Carbon neutral, entirely made of wood. 500 trees and 2 kilometers of vegetal hedges. 5 000 places, with 5000 seats. And the original colors of the club shirt have been changed (black and white). And guess what the new color is…You will find the answer easily!